29 Mar 2023

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Music is the language that has flowed fluently through EmRiver all her life. Music is how she processes and makes sense of the challenges and heartaches that come with being alive. She is able to connect to deep places and find courage and hope through the powerfully healing vibrations of music and she loves to share that with others. Her music touches the heart and facilitates a feeling of connection and hope in her listeners. Part of what sets her music apart is the way it comes in authenticity straight from the heart.

EmRiver has been performing, teaching, and creating music for decades. She writes, records, and performs her own folky tribal songs on a variety of instruments including keyboard, guitar, flute, and ngoni. Songs and instrumentals pour out of her regularly as music is her main form of journaling and processing life.

Born in California but a longtime citizen of Aotearoa, and currently residing in the abundant Bay of Plenty, EmRiver has been sharing her musical passion with audiences around the world and in New Zealand for the last ten years. She has played in many different bands and ensembles over the years, and has spent time recording music and writing and performing songs either on her own or in collaboration with other musicians. Most recently she has shared her music at festivals and venues around New Zealand including Corofest, Earthbeat, NZ Spirit Fest, Solrise, Raglan’s Yot Club, Luke’s Kitchen in the Coromandel, and the Okere Falls Store.

She recently released an album of tribal folk songs played on the African ngoni called Heart to Heart. This is what she says about how the album came about: " A friend let me take care of his homemade ngoni (African hunter's harp) right when I was going through the most difficult time of my life, a time of deep grief and exhaustion after losing my dear husband to suicide. The soothing tone and simple tuning of this beautiful instrument brought songs of the heart out of me that sustained me and helped me find the courage to keep going. I am motivated to share these with others because of what they meant to me, that they might encourage others in a similar way. From my heart to yours, I invite you to sit back, close your eyes, and join me on this journey of the heart. “


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